When you ask me to describe Ayoub's Estate Pinot in one word, it is an easy choice: silk. Thankfully, I'm not limited to one, because this is worthy of a novel! We were immediately struck by how open and aromatic the '15 is, giving instant pleasure with its beautiful perfume of crushed red berries, sweet orange, and rose. I return to the silk, which envelopes you in red-fruited wonder, with delicate accents of candied orange, dark cocoa, and baking spices. I finished the bottle 48 hours after opening and it was every bit as fresh, pure and silky, perhaps more so. It is incredibly rare to recommend equally that you open it now and that you age it for 10 years.
Having tasted each and every vintage of Ayoub Pinot noir, beginning with 2003 (which was not commercially released), I am fully confident this is a wine for the ages. - Marcus
Can one single wine prove that 2015 is a stronger vintage than 2014? When it is as exquisite as Mo Ayoub's 2015 Estate Pinot noir, the answer is "yes."
I have never, repeat never, enjoyed drinking a bottle of Ayoub Pinot noir as much as the 2015. As great as any past vintage of Ayoub, the 2015 is the pinnacle of what Mo has worked painstakingly to achieve. It is silk in a bottle. It is a culmination of the greatness of prior vintages, with a cherry on top.
If you've been sitting on the sidelines, waiting to begin adding 2015 Willamette Valley Pinots to your collection, today is the day. The instant gratification factor of this wine is purely awesome -- amazingly it is rivaled by its age-worthiness.
2014 vintage notes
95 points, Cellar Selection Wine Enthusiast: "Bright raspberry and strawberry flavors kick off this well-balanced effort. It's buoyed by ample natural acidity and adorned with highlights of pastry and baking spices. It expands gracefully as it breathes, adding volume and density. Give this extra cellar time. It should drink best from 2018–2030."
2013 vintage notes
93 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh, open and expressive, this offers a lively mix of cherry, raspberry, cinnamon and fresh toast flavors that mingle harmoniously on a long and detailed finish. Drink now through 2023."
2012 vintage notes
Black cherry with a violet lift rides alongside nutmeg and loam on the nose. Velvety silkiness is what defines the Estate, dishing layers of red and black fruits with accents ranging from spiced cherry pie to Oregon black truffle to dark cocoa to orange. The only downside is the quantity. Wait for the score and it will be gone. Wait for a day and it will be gone. There are only a literal handful of cases available. Mo says "sex in a bottle" and everything else he said I can't print.
2011 vintage notes
The flagship of Ayoub Pinots floors us again. I believe this will be the finest of Mo's 2011s and the longest-lived. It smells amazing, complex and perfumed, displaying gorgeous red fruits, cedar-spice, and an evocative fresh-rain-on-earth quality. Raspberry, pie cherry and strawberry layers are wrapped with a ribbon of orange and clove. It's very silky upfront, with underlying mineral accents melding perfectly with the sweetness of the Ayoub Estate's fruit. This has depth of character to spare! Buy it, age it, love it. - Marcus
2010 vintage notes
The Ayoub Dundee Hills Estate Pinot noir 2010 has Mo positively ecstatic and with good reason. It's powerful and elegant, the strongest Ayoub Estate yet, the 11 year-old vines starting to express themselves. Black cherry, orange blossom, and white pepper aromas lead into a rich palate of concentrated raspberry and bright pomegranate, before the finish captivates you with shavings of caramel and mint, and tremendous, creamy purity. Only 192 cases made.
Ayoub's Oregon Pinots tend towards the contrarian for the vintage - the '06 was more elegant than most, the '07 was darker and more intense. Mo did it again with the 2008, an exceptionally silky, feminine Pinot with very well integrated tannins and a more elegant first impression. In a hot vintage, the 2009, Mo's Estate was complex and pretty, subtle and seamless.
The 2010 bucks the vintage again. A very late harvest and heavy damage from birds didn't stop Mo. The 2010 is round and full flavored. A velvet wine with an intense scent. A layered and beautifully balanced wine.
Wine Spectator - 93 points - Light, taut and appealing for its currant and distinctly floral flavors, remaining lively, stylish and focused through the finish. Gets better with each sip. Drink now through 2018. - H.S.
2010 Wine Spectator - 93 points - Light, taut and appealing for its currant and distinctly floral flavors, remaining lively, stylish and focused through the finish. Gets better with each sip. Drink now through 2018. - H.S.
2009 vintage notes
Ayoub's Estate Pinot noir...the elegant...the classy... is quintessential Dundee Hills: refined, silky, seamless. Open up the 2009, try it over several hours, and it's like a jazz quartet trading fours -- pretty red fruit on tenor sax, the melange of spices, orange essence, and maple on piano, structure on bass, and minerality on drums. All have their flourishes, their moments of brilliance, that build in intensity and take you back to the top. While this fantastic Pinot noir is starting to show well now, its complexity is better suited to drinking on day two or three, or cellaring for a few years.
While this fantastic Pinot noir is starting to show well now, its complexity is better suited to drinking on day two or three, or cellaring for a few years. - Marcus
The Ayoub vineyard is located in the heart of the Dundee Hills on red clay volcanic soil that is ideal for producing the finest Oregon Pinot noirs. This particular vintage has aromas of red fruits, dried orange peel, cardamom and sweet oak spice. Only 425 cases were made so buy enough to cellar as this wine is expected to age well for more than fifteen years.
Rex Pickett, author of SIDEWAYS, spoke highly of Ayoub in an article he wrote for TRAVEL + LEISURE magazine in March of 2009. "Ayoub's wines are bold, rustic and some of the finest expressions of the Pinot noir grape I've ever tasted."
Wine Spectator 93 points: Silky, subtle and expressive, offering a lovely, transparent mouthful of cherry, blackberry and cinnamon flavors that remain aloft and lively through the long finish against well-buffed tannins. Drink now through 2019. - H.S.
2008 vintage notes
Deliciously aromatic. Spiced strawberries and pie cherries, cedar, and a creaminess that flows through the wine from start to finish. The silky red fruits gain weight in the glass and pick up a dark currant bottom note and subtle dried thyme. Perfectly ripe, with sweet fruit finding its match in fresh acidity. This is such a pretty wine - the finish reminds us of a strawberry tart with a dollop of fresh cream. Make room in your cellar, as this is sure to be a hit of Oregon's amazing 2008 vintage. - Marcus
Wine Spectator 93 points: "Silky, polished and beautifully focused to let its orange peel, tea-tinged berry and red currant flavors sail through the long, expressive finish. Stylish and immediately appealing, but there are layers of extra nuances to come out. Drink now through 2018." - HS
Wine Spectator on Ayoub: "Ayoub is everything those of us want if we prize small, hands-on winegrowers who focus on one special place. The 2008, about to be released, is a marvel of complex red fruits, earthy undertones and mascarpone notes on a silky, seductive frame." - Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator 4-23-10
2007 vintage notes
A huge mid palate of concentrated flavor - on the darker side compared to many of 2007 Pinots. Loads of blueberry, oak spice, hints of vanilla cream and black currant, finishing with scrumptious black cherry and brown sugar. When first opened, the acidity is prominent, but it softens nicely with time in a decanter. Like many of the high-end 2007 Pinots, this will enjoy a long life in your cellar, and pairs well with food in the near term.
Mo Ayoub's vineyard is in a great neighborhood. With a four-acre parcel tucked into the prime Pinot land of the Dundee Hills, Mo is a stone's throw from Maresh, Rambouillet (Dusky Goose), Winderlea, and many other oustanding vineyards. 2007 is the final vintage of Ayoub made by Josh Bergstrom.